Houston Ship Channel News

19 Mar 2020

Houston Box Terminals Shut After Worker Tests Positive for COVID-19

(Photo: Port Houston)

Operations are have been suspended at Houston's Bayport and Barbours Cut container terminals after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.Both public terminals are closed and operations are temporarily suspended while a thorough investigation is being conducted, the Houston Port Authority said in a statement."The health and safety of Port Houston’s employees, users, customers and community remains its first priority. Port Houston is in communication with public authorities and health agencies while an investigation is underway…

09 Mar 2020

Big Ship Ready Port Dredging Kicks off 2020

Photo: Weeks Marine

The end of the 2019 saw some unprecedented funding measure pass through Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The Gulf and East Coast have continued to receive significant funding to help deepen and widen navigational channels and gateways. One of the projects passed into law included the Gulf Coast Regional Demonstration Project. Some of the ports receiving funding and underway include Mobile, Baltimore, Houston, Port Everglades and Norfolk. All these projects funded by Congress draw a direct correlation to the expanded Panama Canal.

05 Mar 2020

No Felony Charges for Protesters Who Shut Houston Ship Channel

(Photo: Greenpeace)

A Texas grand jury on Wednesday declined to issue felony indictments against a group of Greenpeace USA activists who closed a key oil export waterway for 18 hours last year by tying themselves to a Houston bridge and dangling over the water.Felony charges had been brought against 31 activists involved in the September 2019 protest. The indictments, sought by the Harris County District Attorney's Office, were under Texas' new critical infrastructure law, which makes it a felony to interfere with oil and gas pipelines and ports…

28 Jan 2020

Houston Ship Channel Reopens After 7-hour Closure

The stern of the 81-foot fishing vessel Pappy's Pride appears above the waterline beside the vessel's inflatable life raft after a collision near the Galveston jetties in Galveston, Texas, Jan 15, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Galveston)

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Tuesday morning after a seven-hour closure to raise a fishing vessel that sank in mid-January near the waterway's entrance in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Houston ship pilots association.The ship channel, a 53-mile waterway connecting the busiest U.S. petrochemical port with the Gulf of Mexico, reopened at 10:15 a.m. local time on Tuesday, according to the Houston Pilots, the ship pilots association.Two people aboard the 81-foot (25…

28 Jan 2020

Houston Ship Channel Shut on Tuesday Morning for Salvage

The Houston Ship Channel was shut on Tuesday morning to raise a fishing vessel that sank in mid-January near the waterway's entrance in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Houston ship pilots association.The ship channel, a 53-mile (85 km) waterway connecting the busiest U.S. petrochemical port with the Gulf of Mexico, is scheduled to reopen at 10 a.m. local time (1600 GMT) on Tuesday, according to Houston Pilots, the ship pilots association.Two people aboard the 81-foot (25-meter) fishing vessel Pappy's Pride remain missing following the collision with the 600-foot (183-meter) tanker Bow Fortune on Jan. 14, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. (Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

27 Dec 2019

INSIGHTS: Niels Aalund

Niels Aalund was elected President of the International Propeller Club at their 93rd International Convention and Conference. The prominent maritime industry stakeholder will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, also serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA). WGMA communicates and coordinates with various governmental entities throughout the West Gulf…

05 Dec 2019

CME Adds Two Delivery Points to WTI Houston

Photo: CME Group

CME Group on Thursday said it would add two more delivery points for its WTI Houston crude futures contract, pending regulatory review, as it seeks to provide customers with additional options to hedge physical price risk.* Beginning with the March 2020 contract, customers can take delivery of U.S.

27 Nov 2019

DOMESTIC DREDGING: U.S. Ports Require a Diverse Fleet

Image: CREDIT Cashman Dredging

The reasons for that are many and these realities cater to regulatory, commercial and regional needs.The U.S. dredging market is complex and relies on the diverse fleet of private dredging companies to get the job done. In addition to design and technical capabilities, environmental restrictions and regulations often dictate whether a trailing suction hopper dredge, cutter suction dredge, or mechanical dredge can respond to the coastal protection, wetland restoration, port deepening, and channel maintenance needs of the Nation.

07 Nov 2019

Energy Transfer: VLCC Offshore Port to be Ready Early 2023

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday discussions with potential shippers to build an offshore crude export facility in Texas capable of handling supertankers were progressing on schedule, with the project expected to be in service by late 2022 or early 2023.The company has also made advances on the regulatory and permitting process for the project, Marshall McCrea, Energy Transfer's chief commercial officer, said on the company's quarterly earnings call.Plans call for the facility to be connected to Energy Transfer's Nederland…

30 Oct 2019

CSB: Chemical Leak Caused Fire at ITC Houston Terminal

The Houston, Texas Refining Complex (Credit: AdobeStock / © Irina K

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Wednesday that a fuel leak, possibly due to open valves and a running pump, set off a massive blaze at a Mitsui & Co Ltd petrochemical storage operation along the Houston Ship Channel in March.The fire that began on March 17 at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) spread black smoke across Houston, shut the nearby ship channel, slowed production at local oil refineries and closed roadways and schools as it spread from one giant storage…

28 Oct 2019

Aalund Named International Propeller Club's President

Niels Aalund, President, International Propeller Club

Niels Aalund was elected at the 93rd International Convention and Conference in New Orleans on October 17th.New Orleans, LA: Prominent maritime industry stakeholder Niels Aalund has been elected President of the International Propeller Club. Mr. Aalund will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, currently serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice-President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA).

12 Sep 2019

USCG Shuts Upper Houston Ship Channel Amid Protests

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the upper Houston Ship Channel on Thursday morning as 11 Greenpeace USA protesters blocked a portion of the country's largest oil port near Baytown, Texas, the agency said.The channel is closed from Light 102A to Light 104, the Coast Guard said in a notice.The closure of the Ship Channel at that location blocks tanker ship traffic to and from five major refineries in the Houston area, including Exxon Mobil Corp's 560,500-barrel-per-day refinery in Baytown, which is 26 miles (42 km) east of downtown Houston.One ship was waiting to enter the Ship Channel, which links the Gulf of Mexico and the Port of Houston…

16 Aug 2019

Kinder Morgan Invest $170Mln in Houston Ship Channel

Image: Kinder Morgan

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan (KMI) plans to invest $170 million in various expansion projects along the Houston Ship Channel.The investment will increase efficiency, add product liquidity, and enhance blending capabilities at its Pasadena and Galena Park terminals, part of its best-in-class refined products storage hub on the Houston Ship Channel, said the energy infrastructure company in North America.In response to growing customer demand, KMI’s liquids terminal platform now boasts 10 ship docks…

04 Aug 2019

Port Houston Box Volume Up 12%

Pic: Port Houston

Container volume at Port Houston surged in the first half of 2019, rising 12 percent compared to that period last year. According to the Executive Director Roger Guenther the port facilities have handled nearly 1.5 Million TEU through the first half of 2019.The Houston ship channel also said in a press release that , the Port Commission awarded a contract not to exceed $39.7 million to Archer Western Construction, the top-ranked proposer among four finalists. A total of 53 companies…

31 Jul 2019

Enterprise Products to Build GoM Crude Terminal

File Image: AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Enterprise Products Partners LP said on Wednesday it expects to take about two years to construct its oil export project called Sea Port Oil Terminal, or SPOT, in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.Permitting for the terminal was expected to reach the final stages by the end of the first quarter of 2020 and final approval was expected during the second quarter, a company executive said on its second quarter earnings call.Enterprise Products signed long-term agreements with Chevron Corp to support the development of SPOT…

31 Jul 2019

Fire Erupts at Exxon's Baytown complex; 37 Hurt

An aerial view of the houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K)

Exxon Mobil Corp said it was fighting a fire that erupted on Wednesday at its Baytown, Texas, refining and chemical plant complex injuring 37 people and sending nearby residents indoors.As many as 37 people were being treated for non-life threatening injuries amid efforts to put out the fire, according to Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin. Available air monitoring information showed "no adverse impact at this time," she said.More than three dozen people were treated for minor burns, none requiring hospitalization, said plant manager Jason Duncan in an afternoon media briefing.

24 May 2019

U.S. LPG Gas Exports Up in Q1

Image: Dorian LPG

North American liquefied petroleum gas  (LPG) export capacity is forecast to grow considerably over the next two years, said Dorian LPG.According to the LPG shipping company, bolstered by additional volumes out of Marcus Hook in the northeast U.S. due to the startup of the Mariner East 2 pipeline, U.S. exports reached their highest levels for the first calendar quarter of 2019 in January with over 3 million metric tons of LPG exported during the month.However, significant reductions in U.S.

14 May 2019

Houston Port Restrictions Could Last All Week

A file image of a typical Kirby pushboat and barge. CREDIT: Kirby Corporation

The Houston Ship Channel could remain under one-way travel restrictions all week following a collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, according to an official.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized.The U.S. Coast Guard limited travel to one-way traffic because barges blocked part of the channel.

19 May 2019

VLGC Freight Rates Recover

Pic: BW LPG

The Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) freight rates started to recover towards the end of the first quarter as U.S. consumption reverted to seasonally lower levels pushing U.S. LPG prices down, widening the geographical LPG price arbitrage between the U.S. and the Far East.According to BW LPG, the owner and operator of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) vessels,  the recovery in VLGC freight rates was further strengthened by two occasions of fog and a temporary closure of the Houston Ship…

15 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Reopens to Two-Way Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel, officials said.About 11,280 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, after a 755-foot (230-metre) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges was completed by midday on Wednesday and two-way traffic resumed, according to Bayport Channel Collision Response, a group overseeing cleanup and salvage operations.Officials decided on Wednesday to tow away a capsized barge instead of draining its tanks of fuel, speeding up the reopening by at least two days.A U.S.

14 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Bottleneck Finally Eases

AdobeStock / © Irina K

A bottleneck of inbound traffic on the Houston Ship Channel eased on Tuesday though one-way travel restrictions remained following a weekend collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge, officials said on Tuesday.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-meter) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.West Texas Intermediate crude at the Magellan East Houston (MEH) terminal on the ship channel traded at an $8.10 a barrel premium to U.S.

15 May 2019

Houston Ship Channel Could Reopen Wednesday

Salvage crews on Wednesday began removing two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel that restricted traffic in the Houston Ship Channel, officials said.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges could be completed by midday Wednesday, according to the Bayport Channel Collision Response, a group overseeing cleanup and salvage operations. (Reporting by Collin Eaton; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

25 Jul 2019

Kirby Announces 2019 Q2 Financials

File Image of a Kirby inland asset underway and working. CREDIT Kirby

Kirby Corporation (“Kirby”) (NYSE: KEX) has announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 of $47.3 million, or $0.79 per share, compared with earnings of $28.6 million, or $0.48 per share, for the 2018 second quarter. Excluding a one-time charge related to the retirement of Kirby’s Executive Chairman, 2018 second quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $46.8 million, or $0.78 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 second quarter were $771.0 million compared with $802.7 million reported for the 2018 second quarter.David Grzebinski…

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